Volunteering and Tourism

A growing evidence base has consistently highlighted the negative impact on children of living in institutional care such as orphanages – especially when parents or close family members are still living nearby. The increasing trend in volunteering in or visiting these facilities compounds the issue and the impact on children. Not only does it encourage the expansion of orphanages, but it also makes children vulnerable to abuse in those areas where regulation is lax, creates attachment problems in children who become attached to short-term visitors, and can heighten the risk for unregulated inter-country adoption by well-intentioned volunteers who form a bond with a child and want to take them home.

This section highlights resources focused on international volunteering, tourism, and donations in residential care centres.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 120

Amira Benali, Olga Kravets ,

This paper examines the understanding of poverty emerging in voluntourists’ accounts of their first-hand experiences of poverty alleviation. Based on the ethnography of an orphanage in Nepal, the authors show that despite voluntourists’ good intentions and even (self-)criticism of the volunteer tourism approach to poverty relief, their accounts tend to consolidate rather regressive ideas about poverty.

Barna Group,

This report contains the findings from a nationally representative study conducted by Barna Group of U.S. Christians to better understand U.S. Christian beliefs around and support for orphanages, children’s homes and other forms of residential care for children. It includes data on the amount of funding given to residential care, as well as visits and short-term missions to orphanages.

Service Civil International Austria,

This toolkit is the outcome of four seminars organised by the Service Civil International (SCI), and calls for all volunteering organisations in Europe to take a strong stand against racism and colonialism. 

Amanda R. Hiles Howard, Megan Roberts, Jacqueline N. Gustafson & Nicole Gilbertson Wilke - Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment,

The goal of the present study was to provide data on pre-trip preparation, in-country activities, and how these impacted volunteer perceptions of preparation and trip satisfaction for volunteers working with vulnerable children, including those in residential care (ex. orphanages).

Amanda Miller & Harriot Beazley - Children's Geographies,

This paper examines the lived experiences of children who interacted with tourists in a performance-based orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Better Care Network, Law Futures Centre - Griffith Law School, World Childhood Foundation, Eriks Development Partner,

เอกสารสรุปนี้ดึงข้อมูลและผลการวิจัยจากรายงาน: ผลกระทบของ COVID-19 ต่อสถาบันการดูแลที่อยู่อาศัยที่ดำเนินการโดยเอกชน: ข้อมูลเชิงลึกและนัยสำหรับการสนับสนุนและการให้ความรู้

Kate van Doore, Rebecca Nhep,

This study examines Nepal’s compliance with international legal obligations, its child protection and anti-trafficking laws, and its criminal and procedural laws that regulate illegal transfer and trafficking of children. The study also raises issues regarding victim identification, inspection of child care homes and complaint mechanisms.

Better Care Network, Law Futures Centre - Griffith Law School, World Childhood Foundation, Eriks Development Partner,

This briefing paper draws on data and findings from the report: Impact of COVID-19 on Privately Run Residential Care Institutions: Insights and Implications for Advocacy and Awareness Raising.

Rebecca Nhep, Kate van Doore,

This report seeks to examine Uganda’s legal and policy framework to identify the relevant offences and mechanisms that could contribute towards the development of a prosecutorial strategy for orphanage trafficking in Uganda.

Kate van Doore, Rebecca Nhep,

This study assesses and maps the legal, policy and procedural frameworks in both domestic and international law across Nepal, Uganda and Cambodia, where orphanage trafficking continues to undermine domestic efforts to stem the overuse of institutionalisation of children.